The feminist encyclopedia of Spanish literature /

Other Authors: Pérez, Janet., Ihrie, Maureen.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2002.
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Review by Choice Review

Although larger than its sisters in the publisher's series of feminist encyclopedias of French, German, and Italian literatures, FESL is less sophisticated. "Feminist" is taken in the sense of being germane to women's studies. Far fewer articles (or even index entries) treat feminist theories and their terms of discourse, and film is not covered. Perhaps most glaring is the omission of any general article on Pardo Bazan or her novels. Such lacunae are explained but not justified by the candid acknowledgement that some articles were promised but never received. In partial compensation are entries on images of women in works by major male authors. Coverage is limited to peninsular literature in Castilian, with survey articles making do for authors writing in other languages. The plainly, even flatly written informative articles, largely by North American academics, typically end with very selective bibliographies that privilege English-language titles. The set offers many cross-references, an inconsistent index, and an incomplete general bibliography. FESL should be complemented by Women Writers of Spain, ed. by Carolyn L. Galerstein (CH, Oct'86), and Spanish Women Writers, ed. by Linda Gould Levine et al. (CH, Mar'94). Nonetheless, for most reference collections this compendium of information about a neglected literature would be welcome or even necessary, despite its price. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. J. Larson Yale University Library

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

The fourth volume in a series that also looks at German, French, and Italian literature from a women's studies perspective covers literature from Spain written in Castilian Spanish. The publisher plans a separate volume on Latin American feminist writers. Arranged from A to Z, articles range in length from one page to five or six pages. All are signed and include a bibliography of works by the author and periodical articles and books about the author. Many of the works cited in the bibliographies are in Spanish, although some English-language books and articles are included. The vast majority of entries cover Spanish women writers from the Middle Ages to the present and male writers who have important female protagonists in their works. Thus, there is no entry for Cervantes himself, but his work Don Quijote de la Mancha is discussed in light of Cervantes' portrayal of women. There are also articles on Spanish women who have been important in history; significant themes, characters, and character types; specific literary works; and philosophical works on feminism. Other articles, such as Cosmetics in Medieval and Renaissance Spain, Courtly love, and Feminism in Spain: 1900^-2000, offer cultural and historical background. Surveys of writing in certain genres, such as the series of entries on drama by Spanish women writers, provide good overviews, but the reader does need some background in Spanish literature because there are references to many authors and books that may not be well known. An appendix lists all entries arranged by time period. For academic libraries and public libraries with large literature collections, this will be an invaluable reference source on a topic where there is very little information in English.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

The fourth installment in Greenwood's "Feminist Encyclopedia" series, this two-volume set follows the same format as the previous one-volume titles (French [1999], German [1997], and Italian [1997]). Editors Perez and Ihrie, who have previously collaborated on the Dictionary of Literature of the Iberian Peninsula, and their contributors (primarily U.S. scholars) have done a commendable job of covering a huge amount of material on Spanish literature from the perspective of women's studies. Unlike many other reference materials on Spanish women writers, this one is not solely biographical. It also includes numerous thematic essays and entries discussing genres, significant characters and character types, and time periods (Medieval through late 20th century). For the most part, the 350 entries discuss issues of interest to feminist scholars and focus on the literature in Castilian, though contemporary literature in Basque, Catalan, and Galician is also covered. Although not required, some knowledge of Spanish literature is useful in understanding their content. The encyclopedia includes such useful features as secondary bibliographies, an appendix of authors grouped chronologically by century, and a list of contributors. The index and cross references, on the other hand, are somewhat problematic because of a lack of consistency. Saint Teresa of Avila, for example, has no cross reference in the body of the encyclopedia under either "Teresa" or "Avila" to the actual essay about her: "Teresa de Jesus, Santa." While there is a cross reference in the index to the correct name, the entry "Autobiographical Self-Representation of Women in the Early Modern Period," which discusses St. Teresa's writings in detail, includes an internal cross reference to Teresa of Avila. These editorial discrepancies aside, the work contains useful and unique information for women's studies and comparative literature collections in all academic libraries.-Cynthia A. Johnson, Pratt Inst. Lib., Brooklyn, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 10 Up-The approach of this companion to The Feminist Encyclopedia of French Literature (Greenwood, 1999) and others is to offer a context for understanding Spanish women's writing by including topics from history, philosophy, religion, and sociology. As the preface states, the intention is to "-present the cultural background against which Spanish women writers have produced their works, the climate in which they were formed, and- against which they react-." The alphabetically arranged, authoritative entries include authors (both male and female); Spanish rulers; events; individual works; and topics such as drama, poetry, and lesbianism. The literature covered was written in Castilian Spanish (not Galician, Catalan, or Basque) and selected for its relevance to women's studies. Portrayal of female characters, discussions of themes, and the significance of women in the authors' lives are given consideration, but biographical detail is minimal. Each article is accompanied by a bibliography; author entries include works written by and about the subject. An appendix provides a chronological listing of subjects. There is also a selected bibliography and a detailed index. This set will be accessible to advanced high school students with some familiarity with Spanish literature and history. Note that the definition of "feminist" for this volume is different from those that may consider only writing and analysis exclusively by women.-Tina Cohen, Deerfield Academy, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.